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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turkey's High Court Under Fire

ANKARA, Turkey -- A gunman stormed into a meeting at Turkey's highest administrative court on Wednesday and opened fire, wounding five judges, the governor's office said. The court had recently ruled against promoting a teacher who wore an Islamic-style head scarf.

The attacker, who was detained and being interrogated by anti-terrorism police, reportedly chanted "Allahu Akbar," or "God is Great," as he fired his weapon, private NTV television reported, citing witnesses.

Tansel Colasan, deputy head of the administrative court, the Council of State, told reporters the attacker was shouting "I am the soldier of God," and said he was carrying out the attack to protest the court decision on head scarves.

The judges, all from the same court chamber, had been severely criticized for a February decision barring the promotion of an elementary school teacher who wore an Islamic-style head scarf outside of work.

"This attack will go into the history of the republic as a dark stain," Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said in a statement condemning the attack.

"These attacks will never reach their goal," Sezer said, adding that the justice system would not be intimidated and would fulfill its duty with "loyalty to the secular and democratic republic."

The country's staunchly secular military also denounced the assault.

"We condemn this vile attack with hate," the General Staff said in a statement.

Under Turkish law, women are not allowed to enter schools or other public buildings wearing head scarves, and the wives of ministers are excluded from government functions and formal state dinners if they wear them.

The attacker reportedly told police that he shot the judges to protest the court decision, private CNN-Turk television reported. The attacker was carrying a lawyer's identity papers, and police are investigating whether the identification papers belonged to him.

If confirmed that the attack was carried out as a protest, it could put the Islamic-rooted government in an extremely uncomfortable position. Some 99 percent of Turks are Muslims.